Thursday, June 7, 2018

Role-modeling Anger to Children

1.   Identify the boundary invasion: addressing a boundary invasion appropriately helps reinforce respect for your own personal space as well as that of others. Doing so definitely and graciously role-models that retaliation need not be part of implementing and maintaining personal boundaries.

2.   Verbalize calmly and appropriately: “I’m mad I was shoved. . . It’s important to avoid shoving. . .” Save any adult-style personal discussions for your support system. Children’s brains are insufficiently developed to cope with intense adult emotions and should not be subjected to them—it can be frightening.

3. Be congruent: Keep your face calm without a smile while verbalizing the above. Keep your posture somewhat stiff to emphasize this is important. No joking, etc.

4. Exhibit a functional action: Take a couple of deep breaths. Avoid any blame statements. Make it clear that you know what happened, got the information, have addressed it, and now you are letting it go. This helps a child to compare desirable versus undesirable behavior. Now is the time to smile and be gracious. If forgiveness is appropriate and you have worked through that, mention that you choose to forgive the person because you choose to be healthy.
More tomorrow.

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